Nana Ansu Gyeabour, the Krontihene of Nasana in the Tain District of the Bono Region, has called on the management of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to reconsider the age limit that prevents individuals from joining and contributing to the scheme after reaching age 45.
He believes that amending and reviewing the age limit could create opportunities for people, particularly those in the informal sector, who have learned about the Self-employed Enrollment Drive (SEED initiative later in life but are now inspired to join and contribute to the SSNIT pension scheme to secure their future.
Nana Gyeabour, who also serves as the Bono Regional Chairman of the Ghana Private Road and Transport Union (GPRTU), made this appeal during the 2023 SSNIT/Trade Union Congress regional forum held in Sunyani.
The theme of the forum was “Sign up for SEED from SSNIT, Eye wo daakye, Fa no personal,” and its purpose was to encourage self-employed individuals and formal sector workers to make regular contributions to the SSNIT scheme based on their earnings.
The forum also aimed to engage the informal sector, recognizing their significant role in economic development, and educate them on the importance of joining and contributing to SSNIT to ensure a stable financial future.
Nana Gyeabour emphasized that many informal sector workers are eager to join the scheme but are deterred by the age limit, which has hindered their access to information about pension schemes.
He stressed the importance of informal sector workers prioritizing pension issues and adopting practices that will safeguard their financial future, regardless of their age.
Dr. John Ofori-Tenkorang, the Director-General of SSNIT, provided statistics on active membership, indicating that the private sector had 1,187,675 contributors, accounting for 61.33 percent, while the public sector had 694,791 contributors, representing 35.88 percent, and the self-employed sector had 54,007 contributors, making up 2.79 percent of the overall membership.
He acknowledged the significant role played by the SEED initiative in the substantial growth of self-employed workers' contributions, which increased from 14,000 to an impressive 54,007.
The call to reconsider the age limit for joining the pension scheme reflects a growing awareness of the importance of financial security in retirement and the need for individuals to have access to these options regardless of their age.